To Reach the Clouds by Philippe Petit
My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers

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Synopsis

An artist of the air re-creates his six-year plot to pull off an act of incomparable beauty and imagination

One late-summer day, a feat of unimaginable audacity was perpetrated on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The year was 1974. A hundred thousand people gathered on the ground to watch in awe as twenty-four-year-old high wire artist Philippe Petit made eight crossings between the all-but-completed towers, a quarter mile above the earth, over the course of nearly an hour.

Petit's achievement made headlines around the world. Yet few who saw or heard about it realized that it was the fulfillment of a dream he had nurtured for six years, rekindling it each time it was in danger of expiring. His accomplices were a motley crew of foreigners and Americans, who under Petit's direction had conpired, connived, labored, argued, rehearsed, and improvised to make possible an act of unsurpassed aerial artistry.

In this visually and verbally stunning book, Petit tells for the first time the dramatic story of this history-making walk, from conception and clandestine planning to the performance and its aftermath. The account draws on Petit's journals, which capture everything from his budgets to his strategies for rigging a high wire in the dead of night between two of the most secure towers in the world. It is animated by photographs taken by two of Petit's collaborators, and by his own wonderfully evocative sketches and unquenchable humor.

 

About Philippe Petit

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Philippe Petit is a world-renowned high wire artist who has performed all over the world. He lives in the Catskills and New York City, where he is artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
 
Published September 4, 2002 by North Point Press. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Humor & Entertainment, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for To Reach the Clouds

Publishers Weekly

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On the morning of August 7, 1974—having already illegally rigged and walked steel cables between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris and Australia's Sydney Harbor Bridge—French funa

Jul 08 2002 | Read Full Review of To Reach the Clouds: My High ...

The Guardian

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To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers by Philippe Petit 227pp, Faber, £12.99 American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center by William Langewiesche 205pp, Scribner, £6.99 These two books tell the before and after of a catastrophe.

Mar 15 2003 | Read Full Review of To Reach the Clouds: My High ...

The Guardian

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To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers by Phillippe Petit Faber £12.99, pp227 In August 1974, when Philippe Petit executed the most audacious and breathtaking high-wire walk of modern times, making eight crossings without safety devices between the twin towers of the newly...

Mar 09 2003 | Read Full Review of To Reach the Clouds: My High ...

Publishers Weekly

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On the morning of August 7, 1974—having already illegally rigged and walked steel cables between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris and Australia's Sydney Harbor Bridge—French funambulist Petit illegally rigged 200 feet of 7/8" steel cable between the two World Trade Center towers and walked betwe...

| Read Full Review of To Reach the Clouds: My High ...

BC Books

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Philippe Petit is another of those people I admire and consider spiritual guides (recall earlier boo...

Sep 11 2003 | Read Full Review of To Reach the Clouds: My High ...

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